Housing starts reach their second highest level in nearly two decades despite cooling in December

    OTTAWA, Jan. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Housing starts in 2007 are estimated at
229,600, surpassing 2006 starts, and reaching their second highest level in
nearly two decades. However, the seasonally adjusted annual rate(1) of housing
starts in December decreased to 187,500 units from November's 233,300 units,
according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).
    "Growth in 2007 housing starts was driven by low mortgage rates, solid
employment, income growth and a high level of consumer confidence, said Bob
Dugan, Chief Economist at CMHC's Market Analysis Centre. "Even with the
weakness in residential construction in December, new home starts are
estimated at 229,600 units in 2007, surpassing 2006 levels."
    After two strong months in October and November, the volatile multiples
segment and single-detached starts fell in December mainly due to harsh winter
weather. Also, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts decreased
23.2 per cent to 151,600 units in December, compared to November. Urban
singles were down 12.6 per cent to 85,600 units in December, while multiple
starts decreased 33.7 per cent to 66,000 units.
    In December, the seasonally adjusted annual rate of urban starts
increased in two of Canada's five regions. Urban starts registered an increase
of 3.4 per cent in Quebec and 1.2 per cent in the Atlantic region. British
Columbia, Ontario and the Prairies all recorded a decline in activity for
December (-36.7 per cent, -33.1 per cent, and -17.1 per cent respectively).
Urban single starts were down in all regions except the Atlantic and British
Columbia, while only Quebec saw an increase in urban multiple starts.
    Rural starts were estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of
35,900 units in December.
    For the year 2007, actual starts, in rural and urban areas combined,
increased by an estimated 1.0 per cent compared to 2006. In urban areas,
actual total starts in 2007 decreased by an estimated 0.6 per cent. Actual
urban single starts for 2007 were down 3.5 per cent compared to 2006, while
multiple starts grew an estimated 2.1 per cent in 2007 compared to 2006.
    Housing starts are expected to remain strong in 2008, but are forecast to
decrease to 214,300 units.

    As Canada's national housing agency, CMHC draws on over 60 years of
experience to help Canadians access a variety of quality, environmentally
sustainable, and affordable homes - homes that will continue to create vibrant
and healthy communities and cities across the country.

    For more information, visit www.cmhc.ca or call 1-800-668-2642.

    (1) All starts figures in this release, other than actual starts, are
        seasonally adjusted annual rates (SAAR) - that is, monthly figures
        adjusted to remove normal seasonal variation and multiplied by 12 to
        reflect annual levels.

    (Ce document existe également en français)

    Please click below to view the Housing Starts in Canada - All areas chart


                     Housing Starts, Actual and SAAR(*)
                                    Actual                     SAAR
                             December     December     November     December
                                 2006         2007         2007         2007
                                Final  Preliminary        Final  Preliminary
    Canada, all areas          16,454       13,985      233,300      187,500
      Canada, rural areas       2,435        2,809       35,900       35,900
      Canada, urban
       centres(xx)             14,019       11,176      197,400      151,600
        Canada, singles,
         urban centres          6,369        6,098       97,900       85,600
        Canada, multiples,
         urban centres          7,650        5,078       99,500       66,000

        Atlantic region,
         urban centres            572          651        8,500        8,600
        Quebec, urban
         centres                3,548        2,668       32,000       33,100
        Ontario, urban
         centres                4,535        3,502       70,700       47,300
        Prairie region,
         urban centres          3,113        2,238       41,000       34,000
        British Columbia,
         urban centres          2,251        2,117       45,200       28,600
    Source: CMHC
    (*)  Seasonally adjusted annual rates
    (xx) Urban centres with a population of 10,000 and over.
         Detailed data available upon request.

For further information:

For further information: on this release: Kristen Scheel, CMHC Media
Relations, (613) 748-4632, kscheel@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; Julie Girard, CMHC Media
Relations, (613)748-4684, jagirard@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; This release is also
available on the CMHC Web site: http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca; For regional
starts information contact: Atlantic provinces: Alex MacDonald, CMHC, (902)
426-8964, amacdona@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; Quebec: Kevin Hughes, CMHC, (514)
283-4488, khughes@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; Ontario: Ted Tsiakopoulos, CMHC, (416)
218-3407, ttsiakop@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; Prairie provinces: Richard Corriveau,
CMHC, (403) 515-3005, rcorrive@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; British Columbia: Carol
Frketich, CMHC, (604) 737-4067, cfrketic@cmhc-schl.gc.ca

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